So recently I came across two seperate yet equally disturbing pieces of news. First, Sony is finally going to release Blood + on DVD in March. It’s planning on doing this in a single disk retailing at $24.96 (containing five episodes) and a box set retailing at $119.95. On a side note, I’d just like to say how really excited I am about finally getting this on DVD.
But the other piece of disturbing news is that Viz will be releasing Busou Renkin in a box set containing the first 13 episodes, retailing at $49.99. Oh yeah, and they’re probably going to do it with Hikaru no Go and MAR. Now, I’ll admit I don’t really have much intention of picking up either of these series, but I’m starting to see a trend.
The Box set from the land of suck.
Now, I know that some very smart people have been advocating this move for a while. But I don’t think those very smart people have really thought this through. Perhaps even more than that, I think those very smart people really need to figure out the economics of the average anime fan.
Okay, so I might not be the average anime fan. But at least I’m one anime fan. So let’s take the Busou Renkin release as an example. I have $40 every two weeks to spend on anime. Now if that $40 isn’t spent on anime, it will get spent on something else. But if I spend full retail picking up BR, then I’ll probably end up spending an extra $5 to $13 after tax and shipping. And that’s assuming I can get it on the cheap.
Also box sets devalue slower. So it’s less likely that I’ll be able to find a break on the price that will put it into the affordable range. If you want proof of that, the non-bootleg version of the Trigun box set is still more than $100 on Amazon Market place. This is for a series that came out almost a decade ago. Whereas the first disk of Eureka 7 is going for just under $10 for an actual R1 release. Granted, I could save the money, but if this trend continues what would I spend it on? Because it wouldn’t be anime.
And the Blood + release is even worse. The economics for that release work out that even if somehow I managed to have $120 to spend on the box set, how much money am I really saving? Six dollars. So where I can afford the single disk release, the box set is set so far out of reach it’s ridiculous.
I realize that anime distributors are trying to innovate and respond to the changing market climate, but this isn’t the way to do it. If they’re really concerned about average folk buying their DVDs, then they need to price them in a range where average folk can buy them.
So to the very smart folks who are advocating this, phooey on you.